This weekend will have a pair of 21s I’ll always remember.
This Friday will be my 21st birthday. Exciting, right? Spending time with friends and family, freezing right beside a bonfire, and giggling over the new year added onto my life.
This Saturday, I will be burying the only grandfather I knew. He passed holding the memory of carrying the rank Command Sergeant Major. Where does the ’21’ come into play? He will be honored with a 21 gun salute.
I’ve been to a military funeral once before, of my great-grandfather. It was beautiful really. The sharpness of the soldiers. The accuracy of the gun shots. The folding of the American Flag. The casket with carvings of his life loves. Oh, and the sound of taps being played… Truly, a military funeral is beautiful.
He will be buried in his uniform, ironed by my grandmother and shined by my father. I don’t think it has truly hit home for most of the family, at least, I know it hasn’t for me.
I only have memories from my childhood when (for every holiday ever created) we would go to the grandparents with the rest of the family. He was always quiet, watching fishing or Nascar on the tv with those who were in the living room. He loved working with his hands, always in the garage or in his garden. Shew, the jam grandma would make from the berries in his garden.
One thing I will take from knowing him, is that he never stopped doing what he loved. He was sick a few months back, and should have stayed in bed, but instead, he’d be found in his garden working away. He was in pain, yet he was still doing the thing he loved to do.
How many of us can say we do that with the things we love?
When we’re sick, of course, we try to take care of ourselves, but what about different situations?
Say, when someone tells you your art is horrible. You have no talent. Keep your day job, because you’re never going to make it. Wonder hits, are you wasting your time?
How about when you are on a team in a game you love, but aren’t the best player. You are so excited to be on the team, to wear that jersey, to have that number, but when someone says that all you do is warm the bench? Yeah, that’s right. The seed is planted. You begin to second guess yourself.
Lastly, our faith. You stand so tall, so proud, when things are wonderful. Praise the Lord you are having blessings poured onto you! Wait… The blessings have seemed to stop, and now… Now it seems as though the blessing giver has stopped handing blessings to you. Sharing your faith? Not to those people. All they are going to do is laugh, talk about you behind your back, and call you out on every fault you’ve ever made. You still love God, but are more worried about the fact that things might not be the way you want them to.
We love God, but not enough. That’s what our lives show others. My grandfather, while sick enough to be on bed rest, still went to his garden, to nurture and help grow the plants he loved.
We need to love God this much. We need to love each other this much.
A friend of mine once said to me ‘When I say ‘I love you’ I mean it. It involves me caring for your well-being, both in this world and out of it.’
What a love! Our love should be the kind of love, that even when we are down, or hurt, we still tend to our gardens. We still share Christ. We still teach others what love really is.
I feel like I failed my grandfather, by not visiting, not loving, and not caring for his well-being in this world and out of it. I feel like I didn’t leave Christ’s mark in his life. I will never know if I will see him alongside my Heavenly Father.
Don’t pass your days, thinking you are promised the nest. We all thought we had a few more days with my grandfather. We were wrong. It all happened within 6 hours.
Oh look… Didn’t it take only 6 hours for Christ to be crucified and killed?
Lets live life as if we only have six hours to live. Will those 6 hours be something to remember, not you, but the Christ you reflected?
—-This post was a jumble of my thoughts. I don’t feel it’s organized right, but I felt like I shouldn’t take away or add to what is here.